Ashlander bottles enthusiasm for animals

Paula Sendar loves animals and wine. But how to combine them into one line of work?

In a big "aha" moment, the Ashland resident found a way — buying local grapes and making her own wine at the new custom crush Pallet Winery in Medford, then selling it, with some of the profits going toward animal organizations.

Her freshly bottled wine, labeled Two by Two, uses charming dog and cat silhouettes by Ashland graphic designer Jacquelene Ambrose, with a dog and cat for varietal blends — two cats for white wines and two dogs for a red varietal. Her company is called Philanthropie and you can surf it at www.philanthropiewine.com.

"Everyone I talk to thinks this is a great idea — and my passion is animals," said Sendar, who is often found doing interior design and enjoys planning special events.

She's reached the point in life where she wanted to "give back."

Sendar selected grapes at Crater View Ranch (part of Quail Run Vineyards) and Steelhead Run Vineyard in the Applegate. Her viognier and a rosé will be ready in spring next year, with others following in 2011.

She hopes to place her 170 cases with Rogue Valley shops, restaurants and tasting rooms — and through online sales to animal lovers.

A lover of wine, especially of the varietals she has chosen, Sendar is demonstrating that, with the newly available custom crush winery, the teachings of a good winemaker, Linda Donovan of Pallet, and access to many new vineyards in the Rogue Valley, you can make yourself into a virtual winery.

Pallet is owned by Donovan and Dan and Olivia Sullivan.

Far from sitting back and letting it all happen, Sendar is hands-on in the process, watching and helping out at each step.

"I never made wine before, but Linda offers expertise and guidance to novice winemakers like me, so they can achieve the desired outcome with their wines," said Sendar, who bought barrels, foil, corks, and grapes with Donovan's guidance.

Although Sendar grew up without pets, she found them later in life, a transformation that "opened my heart. I realized the plight of abused and endangered animals. We have to be their advocates. They don't have a voice. There are a lot of wonderful pet owners and animal lovers out there (who would support animals by buying the wine)," she says.

By pricing her wines just under $25, Sendar hopes to give 5 to 10 percent to pet charities.

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